The Art of the Photogravure
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Photogravure Conservation

OMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES, photogravure is vastly more stable. Among the medium's other exceptional attributes, there is no doubt permanence was a factor influencing master photographers to invest the time, effort and expense necessary to produce high quality gravures. By the early 20th century, when the photogravure rose to such prominence as a reproduction medium for photographs; the basic components that form the print, oil-based ink and paper, were well understood from the standpoint of stability. Photographers welcomed the promise of durability as they were accustomed to grappling with permanence issues associated with photographic prints.

Though extremely durable, photogravures are not impervious to damage and gradual deterioration. Every photogravure, rather every intaglio print and most other works on paper, remain especially susceptible to deterioration mechanisms broadly classified under the headings: chemical, physical and biological.


Special thanks to expert conservator Paul Messier for contributing his expertise to this project. nextPreparing the Image